Part 46: Magic of a Different Interpretation
October 4th, 1986, 10:59 PM
...The eerie sound of the wind and rain. Once again, I hazily regained consciousness on top of the bed...
The finger that the witch had bitten off.. was still attached. I didn't say 'it was all an illusion'... just that it was still attached. After all, the pain and the teeth marks as though a witch had bitten it... were still there. And yet, the window, which I had supposedly smashed, had been fixed as though it had never been broken in the first place...
...How can I escape this creepy room? Why am I locked up in this eerie room... all alone...? I want to get out. I have to get out. Let me out of here...
I could open it a crack, but only enough to peek out into the corridor at best. It would probably be hard even to get just a fist through it. The window won't budge either. It was no better than a barred prison window...
The bathroom didn't even have a window. The only thing that could get out of there was the water that flowed out if you turned on the tap. No matter what I do, I can't think of a way out of here. Being shut up in a place like this makes me a true prisoner. Unless someone comes from outside to save me, I won't be able to get out for all eternity.
BGM: Eternal Chains
Yes, the tiny gap I can make in that door must exist so that I can call for help. But... can I make the words come out...? Earlier, I tried to call out for help, but for some reason, the words couldn't escape my mouth. I might have made some kind of mistake. I might have just lost my voice in my haste and confusion. I'll open the door and make that crack appear one more time.
The warm light of the hallway flowed in, making the darkness of the room stand out all the more... Though I couldn't hear any voices, I did feel something peaceful. I'm sure everyone's in the room at the other end of the hallway, chatting happily about something. If I can just call out, surely someone will come to save me...
Holding back some indescribable fear, I tried yelling once more...
"...!! ...!!! ...!!!!"
But the result was the same. It was like trying to yell underwater. All I did was get out of breath, unable to call out in the slightest.
"...Haah!! Haah, haah, haah..."
Even though I could say as much as I wanted if I just grumbled to myself inside the room, whenever I tried to make my voice reach outside, I choked and was unable to say anything. I understand. My body isn't the only thing locked up in this eerie closed room. My voice is too...
Thinking that I could use some other kind of sound to call for help, I tried opening and closing the door violently, making the chain rattle. It does sound as though it's making a noisy clanking sound, but it's surely no good. Even this sound... is being locked inside this closed room. No matter how harsh a sound I make, I'm sure it'll be quieter than a leaf falling by the time it reaches the other end of the corridor... I tried using the hateful chain that sealed the door to make a sound to call for someone, but that only deepened my despair...
"...? This... chain...?"
That's insane... Even though just a second ago, it was a stiff chain that looked like it was used to seal a monster away...
This changes everything. Now I can just undo it from the inside...! I tried to undo it, but the chain wasn't long enough for that while the door was still open a crack, and I couldn't get it off. Of course.
"...C, calm down...*gulp*..."
I gulped, and calmly closed the door. Then, when I saw that the chain had slackened enough, I touched it with my finger to make sure. When I was little, I hated chains, because I could never get them undone right. However, that was a long time ago. Now, I can undo something like this. Anyone could... it's easy...
*clank*... I had a vision of the demon who had locked me in this room using this as a trap to give me hope and then make me despair even more, but I pushed those thoughts aside for the time being.
...Now, there is no lock sealing this door. Please, don't torment me anymore... and just... open normally...! Slowly... the door opened. I had closed the door in order to undo the chain, so the warm light from the hallway had been cut off. If I open it again, what if that warm light is gone this time? I was even afraid of that.
However, that was... just me over-imagining things. Slowly, quickly... no, I guess this is normal for a door... As the door let out an annoying creak, the exit from this cursed closed room finally opened...
Ha... hahaha, I did it... I did it...! Even my cry of joy was strangled. But that doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is that I can get out!
I poked my head out and looked left and right down the corridor. The warm corridor. I could sense people having fun at the other end. Everyone's right there. Let's go, right now.
At that moment, something cold and heartless crushed my throat. It was as though an iron loop had been fastened around my neck and pulled on hard from behind. No... not 'as though'.
When did this happen?! When I turned around, I despaired even more. Out from the inner side of the door I had just opened, a thick chain had extended... and attached itself to my collar. I pulled on it, but it didn't even budge. When I shook it, the whole door creaked.
...What... th... the hell... The chain that connected to my collar... was attached to the inner side of the door.
BGM: Golden Slaughterer
That's insane... that's insane...!! Dammit, what's going on here?!!
I pulled with all my strength, trying to tear the whole door off, but I already knew from repeated experiments that it wouldn't even budge. I'm sure this chain will disappear once I go back inside the room. But it will never let me leave the room. Though it had appeared to revert to being a normal chain lock, nothing had actually changed. The fact was that 'the chain lock' still bound me to that room...
"...Uuu... nnngh... aaaaaaaaahhhh...!!!"
Tears flowing down my face, I pulled with all I had. It was completely useless. No matter what I did, I'd never tear it loose. And I wasn't even permitted to call out for help. I felt a confused anger at how the demon had mercilessly made me think that I'd escaped for just an instant. But no matter how much I yelled, no voice came out, and no one on the other end of the corridor could hear me...
Then, I noticed... an odd stain on the wall of the corridor. It wasn't a stain. They were letters, traced out by a finger that had been covered in red paint.
Those letters... which looked like they had been drawn in blood, answered my biggest question...
I instantly understood the meaning of that ominous message. Then I tried it out, and understood completely.
When I returned to the room and reset the chain lock, the binding around my neck disappeared. When I undid the chain lock again, that heavy feeling around my neck returned. In other words, I cannot leave this room while the chain lock is still unset. In that case, why don't I just set the chain while outside the room...?!
I undid the chain one more time. The collar and chain appeared around my neck again. I stepped out into the corridor and closed the door behind me, leaving only the slightest of cracks. I stuck my hand through that crack, grabbed the dangling chain, and tried to reset it somehow.
The gap needed to be wide if I wanted to manipulate the chain well. However, that made the chain too short to reach. To make the chain reach just a bit further, I would have to close the door a little bit more. But if I do that, there won't even be enough of a gap to fit my hand in. Of course, it was perfectly natural. Chain locks are made to be done from the inside. They'd be completely pointless if you could set and unset them from the outside. That's why the length of the chain is specially chosen to prevent anyone from setting or unsetting it from the outside.
Then can I use some kind of hard and thin tool? If the gap of the door is just a finger's width across, that's more than enough for the chain to reach. If I could just bend a wire hanger so that it fits through the crack and work the chain with that... That's right, there's a closet just to the side of the door. Could there be some hangers in there?
A single, cheap-looking hanger, like one you might find in a laundry room, was hanging there. Really? I'm pretty sure that when I last looked a short while ago... nothing like this was in the closet...
Ah, who cares...! Quickly... quickly...!! I twisted the wire hanger, bending the end with the tip around. I formed a loop at the end to grab at things with, making for a sort of burglar's tool. I then dashed out into the corridor again and closed the door almost as far as it would go. My wrist could never pass through this. However, if I close it this much, the chain should have extra length to spare...! And this crack is large enough for me to stick the hanger through...! Now it's just a matter of technique...! I'll definitely be able to do it if I try enough times... I'm certain of it!!
"...Hah... haah... haah... haah...!"
It's harder than it looks... But the chain is long enough. It isn't impossible...! I had finally gotten my hands on the one way to escape. It was hard, yes, but it was theoretically possible. If it is possible, I'll be able to get out. I'll be able to escape from here...!!
At that moment, I felt a heavy weight on the far side of the door. It felt as though someone inside the room had pressed their forehead against the door... and was drawing closer.
Then, I felt a powerful and strange force on the wire hanger. Is she trying to grab it away from me?! Yeah right, like hell I'll let go!! Like hell I'll let my one key out of here get stolen while my guard's down!! Fortunately, I had stuck my wrist through it so that I wouldn't drop it if my hand got tired. You won't be able to snatch this out of my hands...!
The witch on the other side of the door watched me and laughed...
Then, I noticed something weird. I looked at my left hand, which I had pressed against the door to hold it in place, and between the fingers of that hand, I could see something red. They were... red... letters. I realized immediately. At some point in time, even more bloody letters had been drawn on the door, and my left hand had been covering them up.
Still fighting against the vice-like strength of the witch beyond the door, I moved my left hand to the side. Where that hand had been... bloody letters had indeed been drawn. It was... as though someone had predicted that I'd struggle this way from the very beginning... a message from the witch to me.
"N, no way..."
There was suddenly a terrible sound, and the force that had been pulling on the hanger was suddenly released. Then, when I pulled it out and looked... I lost all hope.
As though it had been hit by the acid of the room's darkness, the tip of the hanger... had burnt and bubbled... and melted off. Now it's pitifully short. This can't be used for anything...! It would be useless to search for a substitute. All schemes to close the chain from the outside... have been sealed...! Dammit... dammit, dammit, dammit...!!
I threw the remnants of the wire hanger against the floor, faced the hallway filled with a warm light, and called for help. However, I just choked, unable to speak at all. Everyone's just down the corridor. And everything's peaceful there! I can't hear their voices, but I know! I'm sure they're all having a good time playing cards! Please, someone notice!! Someone... save me!!!
This time, it wasn't the witch's voice. It was the happy voices of everyone else, which I could hear from the other end of the hallway...